I was looking over Mondo Skepto’s list of Sylvia Browne’s predictions for 2007 and considering how so called “psychics” play these guessing games for the credulous. They sometimes play the odds and sometimes just make vague predictions that they will probably be able to claim as a hit no matter what. They also make a few outlandish claims that, if correct, will make them look really good. Then at the end of the year they make a big fuss of the few things they get right, knowing that confirmation bias means their fans will forget the greater number of wrong predictions. Anyway, I thought I should have a go, if only to see if I can do better than Sylvia. So, for your New Year’s Day amusement I present Skeptico’s psychic predictions for 2007. As with the professional “psychics”, I have included some obvious predictions, some vague, and a few off the wall ones (if one comes true I can claim a big hit). At the end of the year we will be able to see how many accurate predictions I can claim while ignoring the ones I got wrong. Bet you can’t wait. Here goes.
President Bush will announce more troops to be sent to Iraq to control the insurgency, but it will not work. There will continue to be calls to bring the troops home but Bush will not heed them.
President Bush will not be impeached.
John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama will announce their candidacies for President. Rudy Giuliani will announce he is not running.
Donald Rumsfeld will publish his memoirs.
Condoleezza Rice will be hospitalized for a serious illness, but will make a full recovery.
Dick Cheney will be hospitalized with heart problems.
Pakistan – there will be an assassination attempt on President Perez Musharraf that will leave him injured.
Cuba – Castro will remain alive and in power but his public appearances will be rare.
England – Tony Blair will step down as Prime Minister. There will be a contest for the leadership that will eventually be won by Gordon Brown, who will be the new Prime Minister. Browne will lead his Labour party in the general election in 2008 but will lose.
Palestine – President Mahmoud Abbas will step down due to ill health.
There will be a major typhoon causing much damage and loss of life in SE Asia.
There will be a higher than normal number of strong hurricanes in the Atlantic. The mainland of the US will escape the worst of these storms but there will be serious damage and loss of life elsewhere.
There will be a significant earthquake Northern California, but no lives will be lost. There will be a major earthquake in China that will result in loss of lives.
There will be no Bird Flu pandemic in 2007, although some limited human cases will be reported.
There will be terrorist attacks against US interests in Africa and Asia. Australia should expect a terrorist attack from Islamic extremists.
US residents should avoid terrorist acts during the month of May.
Snoop Dogg will be acquitted of charges for drug and gun possession on a technicality, but he will be found guilty and will get probation for possession of a night stick.
Paris Hilton will get engaged again but will not go through with the marriage.
Britney Spears’ new album will have disappointing sales.
“Bobby” will win the Oscar for Best Picture.
Tiger Woods and his wife will announce they are expecting a baby (note – I wrote this several days ago – it was announced as true 12/30/06), and it will be a girl. Christina Aguilera will also announce she is expecting a child.
Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz will announce their engagement, although it won’t last.
“Brangelina” will stay together and will adopt another child, but they will not get married.
Kirk Douglas, Lady Bird Johnson and Zsa Zsa Gabor will die of natural causes.
Sylvia Browne, John Edward and others will continue to appear on shows such as Montel and Larry King Live, pretending to talk to dead people. Sylvia will still not make good on her promise to try for Randi’s million.
Allison Dubois will still not solve any of her backlog of 200 murder cases she claims to be helping the police with.
Autism rates will not fall in 2007, despite the lack of thimerosal in childhood vaccines. However, this will not prevent the anti-vaccination groups from continuing to claim that vaccines are a cause of autism.
Randi’s million will remain safe.